Theater

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with acclaimed playwright Lee Blessing, who's best known for his 1988 Tony-nominated play, "A Walk in the Woods." Back in January, he workshopped his most recent play, "The Hourglass Project," here at the University of Tulsa. It's a comedy, with interesting ethical overtones, about several elderly couples who, though an experimental procedure, regain their youth.

Theatre Tulsa's much-praised SummerStage production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Next to Normal," returns this weekend for a set of "back by popular demand" performances at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. A novel and quite jolting blend of rock music and intense drama, this play depicts a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder, exploring how the affliction affects not only herself but her family.

On this installment of ST, we learn about "Red," an award-winning play about the Abstract Expressionist artist Mark Rothko that will soon be presented at the Williams Theater in the Tulsa PAC by the locally-based American Theatre Company. Our guest is Lisa Wilson, who is directing this production.

"God of Carnage," a Tony Award-winning play written about ten years ago by Yasmina Reza -- and translated from French into English by Christopher Hampton -- tells the story of two sets of parents who sit down together after the child of one couple injures the child of the other. The parents have arranged to meet so that they might resolve the matter in a peaceful and diplomatic matter -- yet things quickly (and hilariously) go from bad to worse as the conversation continues, and of course things only get uglier when the rum starts to flow.

On this installment of ST, a fascinating discussion with the Tennessee-based storyteller and performer Jim Pfitzer, who will soon appear onstage in Tulsa in "A Standard of Change," the one-man play that he created about the life and work of Aldo Leopold (1887-1948). An influential American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and conservationist, Leopold -- the "father of wildlife biology," as some have called him -- is probably best known as the author of "A Sand County Almanac," which is a literary classic that's especially popular with environmentalist readers.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Holcombe Waller, an award-winning musician and performance artist who is based in Portland, Oregon, and who will present a multimedia production entitled "Surfacing" tonight (Friday the 6th) and tomorrow night (Saturday the 7th) at the Liddy Doenges Theatre in the Tulsa PAC. Both shows begin at 8pm, and both are offered as part of the now-underway New Genre Festival XXII-A from Living Arts of Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, we present a chat with the prolific and award-winning contemporary American playwright, Lee Blessing, who's working on the University of Tulsa campus this week with students and faculty in TU's Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the new Heller Theatre Company presentation of "Dead Man's Cell Phone," which opens at the Henthorne PAC here in Tulsa (at 4825 So. Quaker) on Friday the 23rd. (It runs through February 1st.) "Dead Man's Cell Phone" -- a celebrated and off-the-wall comedy by Sarah Ruhl, the forty-ish American playwright and MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship recipient -- was given the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play after it premiered in 2007.

This coming weekend, on both Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th, Tulsa Opera will present Tulsa Youth Opera’s production of composer Susan Kander's "The Giver." This piece, as noted at the Tulsa Opera website, is "an opera for young people based on the bestselling novel by Lois Lowry. 'The Giver' tells the story of a seemingly utopian society free from pain or strife, but also devoid of color and memory.

From "American Sniper," "Into the Woods," and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" to "Wild," "The Imitation Game" (shown here), and "Boyhood," we're dishing on this installment of StudioTulsa about several of the notable movies that arrived (or else will soon arrive) in theaters in 2014. Our guest is Michael Smith, film critic at The Tulsa World.

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